District consumer disputes redressal forum, Chandigarh, held Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) deficient in services for refunding earnest money after retaining it for three years without paying interest.
Holding CHB deficient in services for denying interest, the consumer forum, on February 28, while disposing of complaint filed by Prem Singh, a resident of Sector 35, Chandigarh, directed CHB to pay bank interest on ` 1.75 lakh, deposited in December 2010 (one month after the draw of lots, wherein the complainant was not successful) to March, 2013, along with ` 5,000 as cost of litigation.
In last December, the forum had disposed of about 24 such complaints with direction to CHB to pay interest on earnest money.
Prem Singh had moved the forum against CHB accusing it of deficiency in services for failing to pay interest on earnest money retained by CHB.
He said they had applied for flat with CHB under the “Self Financing Housing Scheme-2008” for employees of Chandigarh administration and deposited earnest money.
He claimed that he had remained unsuccessful following which they sought refund which the CHB refunded in March 2013 without paying interest.
CHB, in its reply, said the complainant and a number of unsuccessful applicants suomoto approached CHB and had given an undertaking that their earnest money be retained and also that they would not claim any interest from November 2010 onwards on the earnest money deposited by him.
The consumer forum held, “There was no justification on the part of CHB to retain the earnest money and not to make payment of any interest thereon. Since as per case of the CHB, the unsuccessful applicants were entitled to savings bank rate of interest beyond the period of 30 days of draw of lots as per clause of the brochure of the scheme, therefore, the complainant is certainly entitled to savings bank rate interest fro m December 2010.